Turmeric Chicken Confit
When it comes to cooking and experimenting new recipes, modernized and traditional Asian food are my most comfortable go-tos. While I've dabbled in other types of cuisine, I would say that Middle Eastern is the one I've been most nervous to try. While I pride in being a decent guesser when it comes to ingredients used in dishes, I've never felt familiar enough with Middle Eastern spices and techniques to even know where to start.
Recently, however, I felt very inspired by Bavel's Instagram stories. It is one of my favorite restaurants, owned by renowned Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. They also happen to own my #1 favorite restaurant, Bestia. There are few restaurants in the world that have truly moved me. Within the States, I would have to argue that both of their restaurants are the absolute best according to my own personal palate. Perhaps part of it is due to my sentimental attachment to the memories I've made there when living in LA. The other part is just the awe I have in how the chefs use their food to tell subtly tell a story about themselves and their culinary experiences.
If I was still living in LA, there would be no doubt that I'd be a frequent take-out diner from Bavel and Bestia. Unfortunately, without direct access, all I've had were their Instagram posts and stories to fawn over! Most recently, I saved a beautiful photo of Bavel's turmeric chicken confit. I must've stared at it about a dozen times until I finally convinced myself to make my own version at home.
Without being able to taste it, I went into my weekend food project a little 'tongue blind.' I managed to come up with this version and am very pleased for a first time attempt! To be clear, this is not an attempt at Middle Eastern chicken. It's an attempt at just turmeric chicken. However, I did want to pair with Middle Eastern inspired sides (like the Bavel inspiration). I relied on others' recipes for that: Bon Appetit's jeweled rice and Feel Good Foodie's Labanese garlic sauce.
It was a delicious meal! Until I can find my way back down to LA, I will refer to this in the meantime!
Turmeric Chicken Confit
Prep Time: 1 hour 45 min
Cook Time: 15 min
4 chicken legs
4 cups of olive oil
8 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/4 onion (sliced)
~4 tbsp turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a shallow baking pan, spread out chicken legs. Season each generously with turmeric, salt, and pepper. Add garlic and onions to the pan. Then, add olive oil (about 4 cups or more to cover chicken legs entirely). Place pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1.5 hours. Chicken meat should be soft, delicate, and almost coming off the bone.
Remove baking ban from oven. Once cooled down, reserve about half a cup of the oil in a glass container or jar. Transfer chicken to thighs to a plate. Note: If seasoning is uneven, add more turmeric so the skin is evenly coated.
When ready to serve chicken thighs, heat up reserve oil in a large cast iron (about 1/4 inch high) on medium heat. Once warm, add chicken thighs (skin facing down). Use a spoon to baste the chicken with the hot oil and juices from the pan. Do this for about 5 minutes, then turn the chicken over (skin facing up). Baste for another 5 minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F). Finish with a pinch of sea salt over each chicken thigh.
Transfer chicken thighs to serving plate. Serve with preferred sides.